Youth Prevails On Day Three Of The Pac-10 Tennis Championships

April 25, 2009

OJAI, Calif. -- Three freshmen have played their way into the 2009 Pac-10 singles championship finals, as USC's Amanda Fink, last year's runner-up, is the lone upperclassman remaining in the draw. The doubles finals were also determined on day three of the championships in Ojai, Calif.

The men's singles championship will feature USC's Steve Johnson and Stanford's Bradley Klahn, two freshmen who have been impressive at this year's championships. Johnson downed Stanford's Alex Clayton, 6-4, 6-3, in the semifinals to earn the right to play for the singles titile on Sunday.Klahn took out the top-seeded player in the tournament, USC's Robert Farah, in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5.

Klahn also finds himself in the championship doubles finals as he and fellow freshman Ryan Thacher breezed through their semifinal match with Washington's team of Derek Drabble and Martin Kildahl, 8-3. The young Cardinal pair will face UCLA senior Michael Look and his partner freshman Eugen Brazdil. The Bruins defeated rival USC's team of Abdullah Magdas and Daniel Nguyen, 8-3.

On the women's side, Fink reaches the championship finals for the third time in her Trojan career. The Calabasas, Calif., native upset fifth-ranked Hilary Barte of Stanford, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (5), to carry a 21-match winning streak into the title match. The senior will take on Arizona rookie Natasha Marks, who defeated California's Marina Cossou, 6-2, 7-5. The Nottingham, England, native looks to become the first Wildcat to take home the Pac-10 individual title since Alix Creek won back-to-back championships in 1992-93.

In doubles, defending Conference champions, Fink and Gabriela Niculescu advance to the finals after edging Arizona State duo of Micaela Hein and Kelcy McKenna, 9-7. Should the Trojan pair win their second straight title, they would become the first USC women's doubles team to win consecutive Pac-10 doubles championships. Fink/Niculescu will face another Sun Devil team in the finals. Sisters Laila and Nadia Abdala held off Carolyn McVeigh and Jessica Nguyen of Stanford, 8-6, to advance to the title match on Sunday.

The final day of the Pac-10 tennis championships begins with the men's championship single's final at 9:30 a.m., followed by the women's championship single's final at approximately 11 a.m. The championship doubles finals will follow with the men taking the court at 12:30 and the women at approximately 2 p.m.

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